07 September 2006

Superheroes on Screen - Retrospective 2001

Following in the tradition of the 2005, 2004, 2003, & 2002 retrospectives, behold, I bring you the superheroes on screen in 2001.


I will be honest with you, 2001 was an awful year for superfolk. There were a few onscreen adaptations of graphic novels including Brendon Frasier in Monkeybone as well as From Hell and Ghost World. There were, however, sadly no Superheroes on the big screen.

Luckily, things were a bit brighter on the small screen. In 2001, the Superboy character was reimagined with a "no flights, no tights" mantra in the show Smallville. In the show, young Clark Kent befriends a young Lex Luthor as the two vie for the affections of Lana Lang. Clark discovers his powers, and fights to forge his own destiny. Various other characters from Superman lore have also been reimagined into the show including Lois Lane, Perry White, Zod, Brainiac, Morgan Edge, the Flash, and Aquaman. Smallville begins its sixth season in the fall of 2006.

While he had his own 90's animated show, The Tick (based on a cult comic book) made his live action debut in the fall of 2001. Originally, the show was conceived as a strike filler for a writer's strike which never happened. Once The Tick finally premiered, it was given the standard Fox treatment - dumped to Thursdays against tough competition with little promotion and promptly cancelled.

Superman got even more screen time in 2001 with the debut of the animated Justice League. This series continued a few years after Superman: The Animated Series, and reunited Superman with Batman. Also added to the mix were Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern John Stewart, the Martian Manhunter, and Hawkgirl. Guest heroes also dropped in on occasion including the Lantern Corps, a toughed up Aquaman, Metamorpho, the New Gods, and the Demon. To add to the epic mood of the series, and to accommodate all seven stars, each episode was a segment of a two or three parter. This series did much to bring back respect to the League after the silly 70's Superfriends. The show produced 52 episodes before morphing into the series Justice League Unlimited.

In all, 2001 really doesnt stand out as a great year, though it did produce a couple of good TV shows. I doubt there will be another year without a superhero on the big screen for some time.

Previous Retrospectives


toast said...

I really think the Tick is an underrated show. I thought the writing was great and the campy costumes, dialoge and situations were a perfect vessel for the Big Blue.

(Although, I liked the cartoon better.)

Chip Chief said...

i wonder what ever happened to the tick. is his comic still around? yeah, the cartoon was better, but still the live action deserved to be around longer than a half season.

toast said...

Alas, the tick will remain in glorious black and white newsprint and digital video.

The tick gets a mini-series at least once a year but nothing really noteworthy has been published in the last five years